Quality Assurance Inspector

   Manufacturing & Production

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Product Examiner
Product Grader
Product Tester

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Clerical or OrganisingSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

 

Quality assurance inspectors examine products, materials and services to make sure they meet presentation and quality standards. Future Growth Strong

Knowledge, skills and attributes     

To become a quality assurance inspector, you would need:

  • technical knowledge relevant to your industry

  • knowledge of quality standards and relevant legislation

  • a methodical and detail-oriented approach

  • analytical and problem-solving skills

  • to be safety-conscious

  • good oral and written communication skills

  • good organisational and administrative skills 

Duties and Tasks

Quality assurance inspectors may perform the following tasks:

  • study specifications and/or blueprints

  • inspect, test, measure or sample materials, products or services

  • recommend adjustments or improvements to processes and quality standards

  • remove products that do not meet required specifications

  • analyse test data

  • produce reports for management

Working conditions

Most quality assurance inspectors work regular, full time hours. Overtime may be required to meet deadlines in a production facility. You might work in a factory or processing plant, a laboratory, or an office environment.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a quality assurance inspector without formal qualifications. You would receive training on the job.

Quality assurance inspectors are often employees who have worked their way up through an organisation, and have broad knowledge of the company's products, services and processes.

Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET qualification in quality auditing, or experience and knowledge of the global ISO 9001 Quality Management standards.

Employment Opportunities

Employment of quality assurance inspectors is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.

Many companies and government departments have developed or are developing formal quality assurance and continuous improvement programs, so employment will continue to be available, particularly in industries such as pharmaceuticals and medical equipment and supplies.
 

Did You Know?

Quality control in the fashion manufacturing industry is incredibly important. Failing to maintain certain standards can lead to all sorts of problems, especially for a start-up company.
Without a track record for selling your products, buyers who do invest in you will expect perfection.

But what exactly is Quality Control?
Simply put, it is a process implemented in factories, for maintaining the best quality throughout every stage of the manufacturing of products.

There are many different quality control processes, including checking materials for flaws and defects, ensuring that colours are correct, and examining the strength of the final product.

In the apparel, accessories and footwear sectors, seams and/or stitching must be neat and strong, and all products must be produced to the same size and standard.

With so many quality control processes involved in the manufacture of products, factory workers should be trained to maintain standards for their own work. These processes would then be checked by a manager or a Quality Control Specialist before the next process is executed.

Qality Control in Fashion
The importance of Quality Control in fashion manufacturing

When should Quality Control take place?

Checks ideally should be made at three stages of the production process:

At the beginning, before the actual manufacture begins. As and when the raw materials arrive at the factory, they should be checked for correct delivery, overall quality, faults that may have been missed or overlooked, size, colour, and other specific important points that may vary from material to material as well as clients.

At the mid-point of the manufacture, spot checks should be performed for overall make quality as the products progress through the production line.

At the end of the production run, quality control checks ensure that the product looks as expected, whether the colours have changed following washing, are the stitches holding, is the final product as specified in the Spec Sheet, does it pass any required testing, does it match the pre-approved sample, etc. – all the final checks before the product leaves the manufacturer.
(Source: Fashion Insiders Co)

Product Examiner
   Manufacturing & Production

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2Skill Level 3

Product examiners ensure that primary produce and manufactured goods meet specified standards of presentation, safety and quality. They take samples and measurements of products throughout the production process, from when raw materials are received from external suppliers, right through to the Future Growth Static packaging of finished products. These continuous checks allow issues to be identified and corrected early, ensuring the production process operates at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. The testing methods and quality standards will vary depending on the particular product. Testing may involve activities such as visual checks of appearance, weighing samples and conducting laboratory tests of a product's physical and chemical characteristics.

ANZSCO description: 8393: Examines products to ensure conformity to specifications and standards of presentation and quality.

Alternative names: Product Quality Controller, Quality Assurance Assessor, Quality Assurance Inspector, Quality Control Assessor, Quality Control Inspector, Quality Control Officer, Quality Controller, Quality Coordinator, Quality Technician, Quality Tester

Specialisations: Film Examiner, Metal Products Viewer, Textile Examiner, Tyre Finisher and Examiner, Vehicle Assembly Inspector

Product Examiner
(Source: Good Universities Guide)

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A Product examiner needs:

  • to be observant, with an eye for detail

  • good communication skills

  • the ability to analyse and solve problems

  • a logical and methodical approach to work

  • patience

Duties and Tasks

  • studying product specifications and taking measurements to determine conformity to specifications

  • examining and marking output for visible defects such as cracks, holes and breakages

  • making minor repairs and adjustments to products

  • compiling quality assurance reports, maintaining documentation and reporting findings

  • examining products for defects and grading produce

  • designating grading of produce and recording details of assessments according to classification system

  • collecting and labelling samples for inspection

  • recording details of sampling procedures and sources of samples

  • preparing samples and carrying out prescribed tests

Working conditions

Product examiners are often based in an office, laboratory or workshop. However, they will often visit the production floor or storage facility to collect samples or check production processes. Production areas are often noisy and may be hot and dusty as well. Many workplaces will use heavy machinery and strict safety guidelines must be followed to avoid injury. Product examiners must also take care when working in a laboratory, particularly if working with chemicals. In many cases protective clothing must be worn, which may include, safety glasses, ear muffs, lab coats, high visibility clothing, hard hats and/or gloves, depending on the specific work environment. Many manufacturing plants operate 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, meaning quality controllers often work shifts, which may include working nights and on weekends.

Tools and technologies

Product examiners use a variety of tools and technologies, depending on the tests they carry out and the products they are examining. They may use a range of laboratory equipment to test factors such as chemical composition, nutritional value, the presence of toxins and electrical conductivity and/or insulation. They also check the dimensions and weights of products using sensitive scales and measuring equipment. Many tests are automated, allowing a greater volume of samples to be tested in a shorter period. Product examiners will need to be familiar with computers both to run these tests and to compile reports detailing their findings.


Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a product examiner without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, it may improve your employment prospects if you complete a qualification relevant to the field or industry in which you wish to work.

Many product examiners will have significant practical experience working on the production line, often as a machine operator or factory worker, manufacturing the products they inspect. Other product examiners may approach this occupation by working in a laboratory.

The Diploma of Quality Auditing is offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can complete a traineeship. The quality assurance officer traineeship usually takes 24 months to complete.

Did You Know?

ABC News 12 February 2021

ABC News

Food regulators have classed fruit juice as less healthy than diet cola under new guidelines confirming Australian health star ratings (HSR) on food packaging will focus more on sugar content. Friday's decision by the Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, made up of state and territory ministers, will reduce the five-star rating for fruit juice to as low as two stars.

The Federal Government's aim in developing the ratings — which rank food from half a star to five stars, depending on its nutrients — was to give shoppers an easy way to identify better choices of packaged and processed foods.

Baseline points are allocated according to a food or drink's energy, saturated fat, sugar and sodium, and then "positive" aspects such as dietary fibre and protein are taken into account to determine the product's overall health rating.

The decision to lower the health star rating for fruit juice, based on its sugar content, is a blow for fruit producers but nutritionists argue fruit juices should be rated according to their high levels of sugar and low levels of fibre, or how a drink compares to a piece of fruit.

What do you think?
What about the marketing of Fruit Juice Drink?

Product Grader
   Manufacturing & Production

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingSkill Level 1

Product Graders grade primary produce by evaluating individual items or batches against established standards, and record these results. Decline

ANZSCO ID: 839313

Specialisations: Fruit and Vegetable Classer, Meat Grader, Milk and Cream Grader, Timber Grader.

 

 

 

Product Grader
(Source: Your Career)

Duties and Tasks

  • Discard inferior or defective products and/or foreign matter, and place acceptable products in containers for further processing.

  • Grade and sort products according to factors such as colour, species, length, width, appearance, feel, smell, and quality to ensure correct processing and usage.

  • Place products in containers according to grade and mark grades on containers.

  • Record grade and/or identification numbers on tags or on shipping, receiving, or sales sheets.

  • Weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel.

  • Studies product specifications and takes measurement to determine conformity to specifications.

  • Examines products for defects and grades produce.

  • Designates grading of produce and records details of assessment according to classification system.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Product Grader without formal qualifications. Some on the job training may be provided.

 

 

Product Tester
   Manufacturing & Production

Practical or MechanicalClerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 1Skill Level 2

Skill Level 3Skill Level 4Skill Level 5

Product Testers collect product samples, conduct tests to determine quality of produce and maintain records of results.

A product tester needs to provide critical feedback to a business that tests its products. The role also includes conceptualization and implementation of test strategies, development of test protocols and ensuring end-to-end Decline coordination of the testing process.

Online business operate under considerable pressure from consumerism and competition. Unless an online business sharpens all attributes in the products and services marketed, to be in-sync with customer expectations, competition will take over the game. This is the reason why they hire product testers with analytical and intuitive skills and invest in street-smart resources who can tend to their testing needs in a responsible manner. Developing test protocols is the starting point for testers.

ANZSCO ID: 839313

Alternative names: Product Test Engineer

Specialisations:
Online Software; Coal Sample Tester, Glassware Verifier, Iron Pellet Tester.
     

Product Tester
(Source: China Brands)

Duties and Tasks

  • Collects and labels samples for inspection.

  • Records details of sampling procedures and sources of samples.

  • Prepares samples and carries out prescribed tests.Develop test programs and write test plans to validate product performance.

  • Perform product testing and log test results.

  • Analyze and track defects identified in testing.

  • Work with product teams to develop test plans for new products.

  • Assist in developing test protocols to anticipate product performance.

  • Monitor and track the status of test defects until closed.

  • Determine timing and cost required to execute test programs.

  • Prepare failure analysis report and provide corrective actions.

  • Recommend product design revisions based on test data to meet expected performance.

  • Determine resource and equipment needs to conduct testing.

  • Develop manual and automated tools to increase test effectiveness.

  • Develop best practices to improve testing quality.

  • Review technical architecture documents, design documents, and functional requirements to identify any potential defects.

  • Maintain accurate documentations for executed test programs.

  • Investigate test problems and implement solutions.

Design the product testing process

The testing process differs based on product type, attributes, target market and other technicalities. A product tester needs to keep in mind the following guidelines before finalizing the test process:

Using concept testing to validate the need to evolve a new product. The online marketplace is dotted with close substitutes and unless the seller convinces his target market on the USP (unique selling proposition) of his product concept, competition will kill the demand.
Using quantitative and qualitative tools to measure customer response to products is a precursor to successful product testing.
The testing process must be capable of completing prototype development and introducing the product in test markets. the test market must be a simulation of real market and must offer a sneak peek of the products and services online.
Write test plans and run test checks

To simulate real-life buying situations and drawing critical feedback from the same, is the key responsibility of any product tester. An ideal product test must comprise of the following features:

Clarity and conciseness of the test, in-sync with the product testing budget and guidelines
Double checking on all pre-conditions and assumptions that have been used while manufacturing the product or developing the service.
The test environment and the data that is going to be accessed for test purposes must be clearly ascertained.
The test results must contain mechanisms for evaluation and measurement against pre-determined set of expected results. To avoid confusion and bias, the results must be evaluated against quantitative parameters.
Measure product performance against benchmarks

A product tester will need to keep in mind the spectre of criteria for which the product or service is checked. This assumes special importance in online businesses where the end-user will get no chance to inspect the product or service before purchase. The role of the tester thus becomes decisive and informative. Usually, a tester checks the product for:

Online products are shipped with usage instructions. The tester must ensure whether the instructions are unambiguous and can be executed as planned.
Quality of product. This is the heart of any testing process. The tester has to assure that all products conform to quality specifications as claimed by the manufacturer. The element of intangibility makes the process difficult.
Comparative analysis with competitive products. A tester cannot confine his responsibilities to mere re-statement of product attributes, which will made be by the manufacturer himself in greatest detail. What the market looks for are independent product testing reviews on a comparative platform with other competing brands, in terms of price, performance and attributes.
Aging analysis and accelerated life testing are the imperative responsibilities of any tester. Measurement of the aging effect of products will establish the genuineness of claims made by sellers.
Keep records of defects found

It is the prime responsibility of testers to scan, scrutinize and keep a watchful eye for defects and flaws. Despite a foolproof product development phase, there is every possibility of errors creeping in unnoticed.

Errors, defects, snags, glitches, flaws and deviations must be identified and recorded for reconsideration, reassertion and ruling out.
Identification and monitoring all risk areas which need special attention must be included in the test protocols.
In case a product or a process, fails a test, it is the responsibility of the tester to provide a comprehensive failure analysis report that provides proper grounds and explains the possible reasons leading to the failure.
Maintain documentation of the entire testing process

An ideal tester must ensure that the test becomes a precedent for future testing and must document every aspect of testing. Another advantage in testing is that, unless clear documentation is drafted, revisiting the testing architecture becomes difficult. Further, it becomes a pragmatic basis to compute time and cost required to carry out testing. It is also a basis for assessment of functional requirements in case of testing multiple products by the manufacturer.

Conduct independent surveys using online questionnaire

Product testing has taken a departure from conventional testing routes where the tester remains on the passive side, since door to door sampling is not possible in online businesses. Dynamic product testing methods are in place today, which require the tester to:

Catch the market pulse, using interactive methods to reach the end-users and gauge their receptiveness to products.
Conduct extensive surveys on using the products by themselves and by a random sample of the target market, aggregate the results and provide meaningful and actionable excerpts to online businesses.
Write product reviews after making an objective analysis of the product and also take up social media posting of the reviews. Online businesses are evolving value-added schemes like provision of free samples for testers, along with other perquisites.
Recommend alterations and modifications to product

Providing constructive feedback and recommend conscious modifications to product and services that will help businesses to iron-out lapses in compliance with quality standards.

The tester is responsible for embedding control mechanisms in the testing process that will bring to light deviations from pre-set yardsticks.
Product design revisions that can make up for defects identified will help businesses to get a sense of scope and budget for carrying out such modifications.
The tester can add value to his position by evolving a set of best practices for testing that will optimize time and costs.
Testing may be required by online sellers of consumer products or by software businesses desirous of test running their software before delivery to end-users. In any case demand for testers is on the rise. People with good articulation, communication, analytical and investigative skills will find product testing as their preferred cup of tea.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a Product Tester without formal qualifications, however, a course in a related field, such as manufacturing, engineering trades, sciences or technology may be useful. Vocational Education and Training (VET) and university are both common study pathways.

 

 

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Material sourced from CareerHQ [Quality Assurance Inspector; ]
Jobs & Skills WA [Product Examiner;]
Good Universities Guide

Result Testing [Product Tester Online]
Great Sample Resume [Product Test Engineer;]

JobOutlook [
Product Quality Controllers; Product Tester; Product Graders; ]

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Arts & Crafts Professional

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Jeweller

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Leather Goods Maker

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Food Process Worker

Abattoir Worker

Clothing Patternmaker

Sailmaker

Textile Designer

Shipwright

Brewer

Cheesemaker

Fashion Designer

Confectioner

Winemaker

Fabrication Engineering Tradesperson

Tree Faller

Chemical Engineer

Quality Assurance Inspector

Luthier

Arts & Crafts Professional

Spraypainter

Jeweller

Milliner

Dressmaker

Leather Goods Maker

Packer

Food Process Worker

Abattoir Worker

Clothing Patternmaker

Sailmaker

Textile Designer

Shipwright

Brewer

Cheesemaker

Fashion Designer

Confectioner

Winemaker

Fabrication Engineering Tradesperson

Tree Faller

Chemical Engineer

Quality Assurance Inspector

Luthier

Arts & Crafts Professional

Spraypainter

Jeweller

Milliner

Dressmaker